Butterstriezel (Challah, Hefezopf, …)
Tiny amounts of yeast, extensive stretching and folding, long rising times – not for this loaf. The yeast in this case delivers the flavor, a short bulk fermentation and only minimal kneading result in a smooth and soft crumb. Excellent.
- 110g flour, Type 700 (strong white flour)
- 70g warm milk
- 12g fresh yeast
Let stand for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- 200g flour, Type 700 (strong white flour)
- 40g sugar
- 40g warm milk
- 40g melted butter
- 1 egg
- 5g salt
- 50g raisins soaked in 20g rum (optional)
- 5g vanilla sugar (optional)
- 5g lemon peel (optional)
- A handful of sliced almonds
Mix to a crumbly mass, then let rest for 3-5 minutes. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes by hand until it is almost smooth. Do not overknead since this will toughen the dough.
Bulk Fermentation: 15 minutes
Divide into four pieces, roll them into thick cylinders and let them rest covered for 10 minutes. Roll into 1.5-cm-thick strands. Shape braid (a bit difficult to explain).
Final Fermentation: 60-70 minutes
Brush with eggwash and sprinkle the almonds on top.
Bake-off At 170°C for 35 minutes.
I left out the raisins, the rum, the vanilla sugar and the lemon peel. I wanted a clean buttery flavor.
Braiding four strands of dough was the most difficult part. I employed the technique found in Jeffrey Hamelman’s book “Bread”, I had to run back to the book a couple of times to understand the pattern though. Frequent Challah-Braiders may now laugh at me (a Challah is made with oil and water instead of butter and milk).